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what are people saying about The Book of Blue . . .


Book of Blue is a song book, an album of poetry inspired by the authors muse that professes her love in well written verses, colorful images, and paint the perfect picture of soul speak.

Rebecca Ann Bank is a Canadian poet who is inspired by the arts, music, and culture of her native land. She has materialized from her authorship with an unparalleled and eloquent contemporary album of poems. The Book of Blue travels well with every word and phrase and exasperates the same emotions Dickinson conveyed in “Nature” is what we see. Banks unhesitatingly delves right into the principle theme of her book which is intertwined with undertones of love, nature, and spirituality.

Her works that use to only entertain the feeds of Facebook now enter the language of the publishing world with a sweet serenade. Her poems reach out quietly and warmly welcome the reader with, ”Blue night skies”, “Streets of Sao Paulo”, “Light jewels through a tree”, and “Being kissed by the shadows of rain” Her words awaken her verses with scores of deep-seated emotion’s and are the perfect bridge to the defining trail of poetry she travels.

The poet steps forward with incisive wordplay, originality, and she builds each poem vividly capturing the in-depth impressions of her feelings. She is not afraid to give herself intimately to readers in her works or bare her very heart and soul at local poetry events. I have read several exceptional books of poems this month but it has been some time since a book like Blue has intrigued me so much that I got caught up in its every word. It is beyond the question of a doubt that among modern poets Banks is in the position to be a consummate writer.

- Brian Waldorf (Poet/Author)



 
                    


 

"Mostly lyrical evocations of the ups and downs and mystical under layers of blue. Usually brief and often delicate the best of the poems keep opening after you think you've finished reading them."

- Robert Priest (Poet/Author)



 
                    


 

Who is Blue? (It's a rhetorical question of course!) I admit, I wanted to be Blue many a time along the ride. I even envied Blue because Blue's experiences were so enviable indeed!

I would recommend this wonderful collection of poetry (or should I label it a Chapbook?) to anyone who considers themselves to be adventurous of mind. It could be interpreted as a warm and loving friend, but not a demanding one. It could also be interpreted as the friend you see in yourself sometimes (I hope that makes sense). That's how close you feel to the imagery in The Book of Blue.

I read it in an hour! I wasn't expecting it to be so brisk, but it was a beautiful briskness. Actually, there were great opportunities for pause and reflection. I know I could have stopped a number of times and just drifted away in imagination, however I didn't take so much time to do so out of my own personal feelings at the time of reading. It's honestly the type of poetry that I would reach for if I were alone in a room and wanted to curl up with the proverbial comfy blanket and fireplace fire.

I'm really glad I read this collection. It's a vibe I always enjoy meeting and it's the kind of vibe you never know when you'll be lucky enough to meet again.

I wouldn't dare compare the writing style to anyone. I'm sure it could be compared if one wishes to do so however I think it would take away from the purity of what is being offered for discovery here.

I should also mention that I was provided The Book of Blue for free in exchange for an honest review. If I had to go back and do it all again, I would purchase this book. Rebecca Anne Banks has produced a fine piece of literature and I will be following her work with interest from this point forward.

- Agostino Scafidi (Author/Photographer)



 
                    


 

The Book of Blue is a modern day classic tome of love poetry, weaving a hidden darkness with great light in this story of the heart, the song of love. A chronology of a love affair from Summer to winter and back again, the poetry entrances and leaves you wanting more. The beginning of the book features a picture of the blue dove by Pablo Picasso, a great inspiration and artist advocate for peace, it is as if the line “Blue, you are the dove” was inspired by Picasso himself and channeled through and in collaboration with the Poet. There are 9 Books of Blue with about 10 poems per Book, the verse is encapsulated, each Book beginning and ending with the line or refrain “Blue, you are the dove.” As if the entire work is a chant, a lovesong to Blue, telling his story and the story of the love affair with the Poet. The title is reminiscent of the series of fairytales by Laing (The Book of Red, The Book of Yellow . . . ) and the poems although set in the post-modern world, have a certain ethereal light of old world magic. The nuances of landscape, time of day, season, and the imagery of the natural world are knit into a spellbinding array of poems. One of the constant images is the sky as a whole enveloping body that holds the world together, a sacred and sanctuary place – “ I long to gather you in, a place, inside the sky.” Another constant image is the color blue that also toggles to be the pronoun Blue, a person. The use of blue as the idea of deep clean water and/or some clear color of sunlight creates a sense of the space/person as sacred. There is also the modern adage of blue as “the blues”, an emotional state of depression, the state of having too many lovers – “lost inside the night blue and wandering”. The poetry is a prayer of worship, however there is a hidden dialectic of violence that like dark water winds its way through the storyline of The Book of Blue – “Blue, the road and sky your home” and “as if I could hold you” and “any peace you may find”. As if the state of this post-modern love affair exists in a place of great longing and war. Reminiscent of great love poetry, the work is riveting. As if drawing from classical works, The Book of Blue, recreates the story of love; the poetry rhymes unexpectedly and without cliché, discards most punctuation, and is a true expression of hope in a lost world, a truly unique and captivating read. As if written with The Muse of Montreal, an inculcation of the street, the music of rivers blue and sky, the wanderlust and magic of les Francais, the island people. The influences of Leonard Cohen, the pared down love of language, every word is carefully considered as if from inside a trance with elements of prophecy. It is the poetry of the Poet as Oracle. The poetry also reflects the essence of Haiku, the quiet lightening of bare bones and the unexpected. The poems dwell in the bud of romance, and linger as if the love affair never fully flowers until perhaps the Ninth Book of Blue. And the significance of the 9 Books could play on the old Number 9 refrain of the Beatles, the oxymoron of a lost and broken world destined to remain broken. The Book of Blue, the story of a deep and enduring love, the poetry timeless, something born of the true romance of the old world and a marriage made in heaven. With the last line before the refrain, “ “yours forever” and asleep . . . “ the bones of love rest, perhaps in covenant, perhaps having never been fully realized. However, in a world at war with itself, as the last husks of modernism fall away to flower into the imagine peace of the New Age, The Book of Blue is the classic story of love itself that remains.

- Subterranean Blue Poetry



 
                    


 

The cover sets the tone for this eclectic collection of poetry by Rebecca Anne Banks of Montreal. Truth and simplicity are implied by the simple blue cover, a reflection of what is inside this beautiful book.

The First Book of Blue

In this unique collection, “blue” is personified- a mysterious force to be cherished, interpreted and understood.

“I hold you
in the hollow space
in my gut
watch you in doorways,
Blue…”

Is Blue the sky, or does Blue represent nature and everything that is good and pure? The readers must decipher the code of Blue and must decide what the concept of Blue means to them.

“I’m never quite certain
what pulls you here
but I am always
glad to see you.”

Like an old friend or lover, Blue conjures up fond memories and warmth.

“…like an unmade bed,
you need to sleep…”

Does Blue take care of the poet or does the poet quietly take care of Blue? Blue becomes the universal concept experienced by everyone, near or far. Blue is both dark and light, night and day.

“The streets of Sao Paulo
under blue night
the people dance and talk
through the streets….”

The Second Book of Blue

Blue is the “dove” that is free as the sky, yet unpredictable. Again, like an old friend, Blue is moody, sometimes quiet, sometimes feeling good, sometimes lost “under the sky”. Yet the dove is consistent, the thread that ties all these poems together.

Blue is the lover for whom we await with anticipation and foreboding., who leaves with only memories left behind, both expected and unexpected. Invited and uninvited, but we always rejoice in seeing him.

“I feel your warmth
even after you have gone.”

Blue is everywhere throughout these poems. Even the beat is in “blue rhyme”, true to the theme of this original collection. The concept of Blue represents so many things to different people, so we are left to interpret this collection to suit our own mood and values, open-ended as good poetry should be.

The Third Book of Blue

In this section, Blue becomes an entity to have and to hold, within and within. Within, like your soul, and without like a baby in your loving and protective arms. Blue is made of seasons that come and go, always changing and transforming, like a spirit.

The “hollow clang of bells” of Summer. Autumn is “a place stuck in stone”.

The definition of “Subterranean” is “situated, living or operating below the surface of the earth’….’out of sight or secretly’. This definition is both reflected in this collection in the sense of Blue being a secret, open to interpretation, but also as a mystery, with the opposite visions of the blue sky above and the deep, dark earth below. Are we subterranean by existing “under the sky of night” in Subterranean blue?

The Fourth Book of Blue

Blue is at home in the sky or on the road, compatible with the sky or the moon.

Is Blue the sky? Or is Blue more like the spirit of Blue?
“you haunt the edges of the sky.”

In part man, in part child, the essence is anything and everything, like the air. Spiritual and physical, Blue exists on many planes. There is a belief in a higher being, both religious and mythical.

Again, we see the dove, flying through the pages of this reflective book.

The Fifth Book of Blue

The world holds Blue, the angel holds blue and the poet holds Blue. Physical, with its “apples and oranges” but ethereal too, “of glory and happenstance”. The rain and the sun, day and night, meander through these poems giving shelter and warmth “somewhere under the shelter of the sky.” Nature and mystical are intertwined throughout, wandering through the universe.

“Blue, this is how I think of you…”

The Sixth Book of Blue

Blue is quiet. Blue is a gift. Blue is unwritten. Blue is omnipresent, a constant in the life of this poet.

“Quiet talk
over morning coffee…”

Orange flowers create an image of bright contrast the our Blue, on the table, kissed by sunlight, delicate beauty. Inside in the winter and outside in the summer, “a gift from the night.”

The Seventh Book of Blue

We are left to ponder, is Blue the sky or is Blue “he who lives inside the sky”? Again we read about the contrasts of the “Zen of Summer” and the “beautiful storm on a winter’s day.”

Blue is a man, to be loved and undressed and kissed “until the sky falls down.” With Blue, “the world is perfect”. Is it love that makes him perfect? Or maybe passion?

The Eighth Book of Blue

The bittersweet throws of love are delicately described as a “beautiful heartache”. Again we are given the image of the colour orange, this time is the form of a “patchwork orange quilt for love”, vivid contrast to our friend Blue.

Again, Blue is in the form of a man. He is “the man with the blue umbrella,” courting with his sweet talk of sunshine. There is hope as we picture the tulips blooming in the rain. The line “Blue rhymes with love” is a clue and tells us so much about the true meaning of Blue.

The Ninth Book of Blue

This is a quiet Blue that sneaks into the night, “you slip down the stairs”. He is like a shadow in the night pouring in, quiet and warm. The seasons continue to change and weave through these words and images. Blue is a cool colour, yet the summer images conjure a feeling of warmth in these poems.

Now Blue transforms from a force of nature to an “antique blue book” that brings both peace and comfort, just like the writing of poet Rebecca Anne Banks in this collection.

I recommend The Book of Blue as a refreshing visual image of words that delights and entertains with its powerful voice. Beautifully written and inspiring, this collection is one to read and enjoy again and again.

- Lila Hope-Simpson (Author) Author: “Stepping Out” (Three Dogs Press 2013) and “The Clothesline Collection (Home & Heart Publications, 2013)



 
                    






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Rebecca Anne Banks

Tea at Tympani Lane Records

www.tympanilanerecords.com

© 2012